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  • Writer's pictureBob Barnett

Ode to Ingvar - IKEA's Founder

Last Saturday, the world lost Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA. I offer him and his store a mixed eulogy.

As a part-time resident in a country that does not have an IKEA store (yet), I miss the affordable style that IKEA offers. As a native of the US State that produced Wal-Mart, I am troubled by the prevalence of "Big Box" stores and their suffocating impact on small businesses....and IKEA is one of the biggest boxes around. Finally, as a New Jersey residential architect, I proudly recommended many of the store's products and have enjoyed using and hacking IKEA cabinets and furniture for many years. Here is a sampling of some of my favorites:

Grey-toned IKEA wood finish cabinets are combined with aqua-green glass tile in this sun-drenched kitchen in Short Hills, NJ. InHouse Photography, Cranford, NJ.

This complete IKEA kitchen includes coordinating cabinets, counters, appliances and fixtures made possible by IKEA's online design tool. Maplewood, NJ, Murphy Construction, South Orange, NJ.

These dark-grey, glossy IKEA cabinets provide a backdrop to highlight a reclaimed wood island top, reclaimed brick oven and island surround, and mixed metal finishes to create an eclectic industrial look. South Orange, NJ.

IKEA Cherry-red entertainment center, hacked IKEA dining room table (legs shortened to create extra-large coffee table) furniture and accessories create an eye-popping entertainment room. South Orange, NJ.

(Above) Sleek white IKEA cabinets create a solid background to showcase beautiful tile and mid-century furnishings and fixtures. Maplewood, NJ, MAC General Contracting LLC, Bloomfield, NJ. InHouse Photography, Cranford, NJ.

(Left) IKEA cabinets and counters with additional melamine shelving and wood moulding were combined to create this space-saving girl's room wall unit surrounding the closet door. A chalkboard wall was created behind the adjustable-height wooden desk. Millburn, NJ,

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